rda toothpaste

Oral hygiene is a critical aspect of overall health, and choosing the right toothpaste plays a significant role in maintaining it. One of the key factors to consider when selecting toothpaste is its abrasiveness, measured by the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) index. The RDA value helps determine how abrasive a toothpaste is and how it can affect the wear on tooth enamel and dentin. This article will delve into the significance of RDA, how it’s measured, and provide a comprehensive chart of RDA values for various toothpastes available in 2024.


What is RDA Toothpaste?

Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) is a standardized scale that measures the abrasiveness of toothpastes on dentin, the part of the tooth beneath the enamel. The RDA value ranges from 0 to over 200, with higher values indicating greater abrasiveness. This measure is crucial because while a certain level of abrasiveness is needed to remove plaque and stains, excessive abrasiveness can lead to the wear of tooth enamel and dentin, causing sensitivity and other dental issues.


How is RDA Measured?

The RDA measurement is conducted using a standardized method developed by the American Dental Association (ADA). The process involves brushing a sample of dentin with a toothpaste slurry and then measuring the radioactive dentin that is abraded away. This method provides a quantitative value that reflects the toothpaste’s abrasive effect on dentin.

Here is a general classification of RDA values:

  • 0-70: Low abrasiveness
  • 70-100: Medium abrasiveness
  • 100-150: Medium-high abrasiveness
  • 150-250: High abrasiveness


Toothpastes with RDA values above 250 are not recommended for regular use as they can significantly damage tooth enamel and dentin.


Importance of RDA in Toothpaste Selection

  • Sensitivity Management
  • Enamel Preservation
  • Effectiveness in Cleaning
  • Daily Use


Sensitivity Management

People with sensitive teeth should opt for toothpastes with lower RDA values to avoid aggravating their condition.

Enamel Preservation

Maintaining the integrity of tooth enamel is crucial for overall dental health. High RDA toothpastes can wear down enamel over time.

Effectiveness in Cleaning

While low RDA toothpastes are gentler, they may not be as effective in removing stains and plaque compared to their higher RDA counterparts.

Daily Use

For everyday use, a toothpaste with medium RDA values is generally recommended as it balances cleaning efficiency with safety.


RDA Toothpaste Chart for 2024

Below is an updated chart of RDA values for various toothpastes, categorized by their abrasiveness levels:

Toothpaste BrandRDA ValueAbrasiveness Level
Elmex Sensitive30Low
Sensodyne Pronamel34Low
Arm & Hammer Dental Care35Low
Tom’s of Maine Sensitive41Low
Colgate Regular68Medium
Crest Regular80Medium
Colgate Total70Medium
Sensodyne Extra Whitening104Medium
Aquafresh Whitening113Medium-High
Crest Pro-Health150High
Arm & Hammer Peroxicare147High
Crest Tartar Protection165High


Elmex Sensitive (RDA 30)

Elmex Sensitive is formulated for individuals with sensitive teeth. Its low RDA value ensures gentle cleaning without causing additional sensitivity. It is also effective in protecting against cavities while maintaining overall oral health.

Sensodyne Pronamel (RDA 34)

Sensodyne Pronamel is designed to protect against acid erosion and is suitable for daily use by individuals with sensitive teeth. Its low abrasiveness makes it a safe choice for enamel preservation.

Arm & Hammer Dental Care (RDA 35)

Known for its baking soda formula, Arm & Hammer Dental Care offers gentle cleaning while neutralizing acids that can erode enamel. It’s ideal for those who seek a balance between cleaning power and gentleness.

Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (RDA 41)

This natural toothpaste is designed for sensitive teeth and offers a gentle cleaning experience. It contains fluoride for cavity protection and is free from artificial preservatives and flavors.

Colgate Regular (RDA 68)

A staple in many households, Colgate Regular provides effective cleaning with a moderate level of abrasiveness, making it suitable for everyday use.

Crest Regular (RDA 80)

Crest Regular toothpaste offers a good balance between cleaning power and enamel safety. It is designed to fight cavities, plaque, and gingivitis with its fluoride-rich formula.

Colgate Total (RDA 70)

Colgate Total provides comprehensive oral care by targeting bacteria on the teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums. Its moderate abrasiveness ensures effective cleaning without excessive enamel wear.

Sensodyne Extra Whitening (RDA 104)

Sensodyne Extra Whitening not only caters to sensitive teeth but also helps in removing stains and whitening the teeth. Its slightly higher abrasiveness is balanced with ingredients that soothe sensitivity.

Aquafresh Whitening (RDA 113)

Aquafresh Whitening is designed to remove surface stains and whiten teeth. Its medium-high abrasiveness makes it effective for stain removal, though it should be used cautiously by those with sensitivity.

Crest Pro-Health (RDA 150)

Crest Pro-Health offers comprehensive protection against cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Its higher abrasiveness level provides deep cleaning but may not be suitable for those with sensitive teeth.

Arm & Hammer Peroxicare (RDA 147)

This toothpaste combines the cleaning power of baking soda with peroxide to provide deep cleaning and whitening. It is highly effective for removing tough stains but should be used sparingly to avoid enamel damage.

Crest Tartar Protection (RDA 165)

Designed to fight tartar buildup, Crest Tartar Protection offers intense cleaning with its high RDA value. It is effective for maintaining oral hygiene but should not be used daily to prevent enamel erosion.


Choosing the Right Toothpaste Based on RDA

Selecting the right toothpaste involves balancing the need for effective cleaning with the preservation of enamel and overall oral health. Here are some tips to help make an informed choice:

  • Identify Your Needs
  • Consult Your Dentist
  • Read Labels Carefully
  • Alternate Toothpastes
  • Monitor Tooth Sensitivity


Identify Your Needs

Consider if you need a toothpaste for sensitivity, whitening, or general oral hygiene. For sensitive teeth, opt for low RDA toothpastes.

Consult Your Dentist

Your dentist can recommend the best toothpaste based on your oral health condition and needs.

Read Labels Carefully

Look for RDA values on toothpaste packaging or visit the manufacturer’s website for detailed information.

Alternate Toothpastes

If you require whitening or tartar control, consider alternating between a high RDA toothpaste and a low RDA toothpaste to minimize enamel wear.

Monitor Tooth Sensitivity

Pay attention to how your teeth respond to a new toothpaste. If you experience increased sensitivity, switch to a toothpaste with a lower RDA.



Understanding the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) of toothpastes is essential for making informed choices about oral care products. The RDA value indicates the abrasiveness of a toothpaste and its potential impact on tooth enamel and dentin. By considering RDA values and selecting appropriate toothpastes, individuals can maintain effective oral hygiene while protecting their teeth from excessive wear and sensitivity. Always consult with a dental professional for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your specific oral health needs.

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